Monday, January 27, 2020

Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas by Stephanie Barron

I read a lot of great Christmas books this year, but this is at the top of my list for the best Christmas book I read in 2019.  Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas is part of a series of books in which Jane Austen is the heroine solving mysteries.  Stephanie Barron writes Jane Austen a as a perfectly realized woman that fits excellently into her own time with the humor and intelligence that shine through in her work and letters. 

In Jane and the Twelve Days of Christmas, Jane, Cassandra, and their mother are visiting her brother James in Steventon where Jane grew up.  They are invited to a Christmas House party in the nearby estate of The Vyne, which is the ancestral home of the Chute family.  The visit goes well until a courier dies by what appears to be a tragic accident.  Or is it?  The courier had stopped by to visit and also was carrying a signed version of the Treaty of Ghent.  Together with Mr. West, the son of the famous painter Benjamin West, Jane works towards solving the Crime.

I loved the characters in this novel.  Barron does an excellent job of weaving in the real history and what it would have been like to celebrate Christmas in the Regency period.  The mystery itself was intriguing.

Overall, Jane Austen and the Twelve Days of Christmas is a perfect Regency Christmas mystery.  It was an excellent novel for any time of year.

Book Source:  Purchased from  Thank-you!

A Perfect Cornish Christmas by Phillipa Ashley

It was the perfect Cornish Christmas, when Scarlett and her sister Ellie decide to surprise their family with the results of a DNA test. Their father has always wanted to know if they have Viking Blood.  Only to everyone’s surprise, the results show that Scarlett and Ellie are half-sisters - a result that tears their family apart.

Scarlett decides to move into the family estate (left to their Mom by a beloved famous romance author aunt) in Porthmellow Cornwall with her sister Ellie.  The two sisters find romance.  Will their family be able to move on and have a Merry Christmas?

I found this novel to be quite enjoyable.  I loved the setting and the characters.  The storyline actually reminded me of watching The Young and Restless with my Grandma as a kid.  I loved it.  It kept me guessing on the twists and turns it took – I was surprised at the end!

Overall, A Perfect Cornish Christmas was a riveting Contemporary Christmas novel with just the right amount of romance. 

Book Source:  Purchased from  Thank-you!

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Almost Just Friends by Jill Shalvis (Book Tour Review and Giveaway)

Piper grew up too soon when her parents were killed overseas.  She moved with her siblings into her grandparents’ home, but they died when she was still in her teens.  She spent the rest of her youth raising her siblings.  Now that their lives are back on track, Piper can finally go to college and fulfill her dream of becoming a Physician’s Assistant.

Her plans go off track when she meets a handsome new man, Cam, who is visiting his father who lives next door.  Cam’s life is off track now that his father has diabetes and his young brother has been killed in an auto accident . . . in which Cam was the driver.  When he meets Piper, he wonders if he can change the direction of his life.

When Piper’s siblings move back in with problems and loves of their own, what will she do?  Are Piper and Cam just friends with benefits or are they more?

I really loved the well-developed characters, setting, and storyline.  I was completely drawn into the story I didn’t want to put the book down.  I liked how the characters and their stories were so realistic.  I also enjoyed that Piper’s brother Gavin got his own same-sex love story and turmoil of his own.  This brought another dimension to the story that you don’t always see.  I was cheering for him and wanted even more of his story.  Piper and Cam’s romance was also a great story of its own and was a great romance.

Overall, Almost Just Friends is an engrossing contemporary story with great characters.  I didn’t want it to end.  Jill Shalvis is my new favorite romance author.

Book Source:  Review Copy from William Morrow Books.  Thank-you!


New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis lives in a small town in the Sierras full of quirky, for a complete book list and daily blog detailing her city-girl-living-in-the-mountains adventures.

resemblance to the quirky characters in her books is, um, mostly coincidental. Look for Jill’s bestselling, award-winning books wherever romances are sold and visit her website,

ABOUT ALMOST JUST FRIENDS (a standalone Wildstone novel)

characters. Any
Piper Manning’s about as tough as they come, she’s had to be. She raised her siblings and they’ve thankfully flown the coop. All she has to do is finish fixing up the lake house her grandparents left her, sell it, and then she’s free.

When a massive storm hits, she runs into a tall, dark and brooding stranger, Camden Reid. There’s a spark there, one that shocks her. Surprising her further, her sister and brother return, each of them holding their own secrets. The smart move would be for Piper to ignore them all but Cam unleashes emotions deep inside of her that she can’t deny, making her yearn for something she doesn’t understand. And her siblings…well, they need each other.

Only when the secrets come out, it changes everything Piper thinks she knows about her family, herself…and Cam. Can she find a way to outrun the demons? The answer is closer than she thinks—just as the new life she craves may have already begun.

Connect with Jill
Facebook: @JillShalvis
Twitter: @JillShalvis


As a part of the William Morrow Book Tour, I am giving away one copy of this novel. If you would like to win this book, please leave a comment on what interests you about this book.  

As part of your comment, you must include an email address. If I can't find a way to contact you I will draw another winner.

For an additional entry, blog about this giveaway or post it on your sidebar. Provide a link to this post in your comment.

I will be using (or a Monte Carlo simulation in excel) to pick the winners from the comments.

This contest is only open to addresses in the United States and Canada.

The deadline for entry is midnight on Friday January 31st!

Please make sure to check the week of February 3rd to see if you are a winner. I send emails to the winner, but lately I've been put in their "junk mail" folder instead of their inbox.

Good luck!